Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Battle of Gettysburg: the loyal townspeople

Part 3 in a series of posts on the behavior of the townspeople at the Battle of Gettysburg.

In his History of the Seventy-sixth Regiment New York Volunteers, First Lieutenant A.P. Smith (pictured here) speaks very highly of the citizens of Gettysburg. Smith writes:

"The people of Gettysburg, like the bulk of the people of the free States, are heartily loyal. At many of the doors and windows, the ladies, lads and girls stood through that long, hot day, and passed water and food to the Union troops. More... The men of the Seventy-sixth will not soon forget, and I should fail in the performance of my duty, did I not mention the "nameless heroine," who, with a cup in each hand, so busily dealt out water to the thirsty boys, the tears of sympathy streaming down her lovely cheeks, as the wounded soldiers came hobbling by, until, pierced by a rebel ball, she fell dead by the side of her pail ! We regret that we cannot hand down her name to posterity, even in these humble pages. The memory of her deeds and heroic sacrifice shall remain green, though her name is unknown.

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